Deep Valley, Heavy Deli: Brent’s in Northridge

by Jessica on October 19, 2010

Kid Hit Menu Items: Brent’s Deli hardly poses a challenge for finding stuff that everyone wants to eat. There’s not an isolated kids menu, but the PBnJ, chicken fingers, and grilled cheese are noted as being great for kids if that’s what you need. Or feed them some soup, and turkey or pastrami bits. What also makes Brent’s special in part are the extensive French fry offerings, with steak, curly, skinny, and sweet potato all listed as separate options.

Adult Perks: Brent’s has a typically huge, multi-page menu. We appreciated the substantial but not unwieldy oversized sandwiches that people have come to expect of delis. The house-made kishka is a stand-out, or so I’ve been told. Alternately, chose from the “Health Conscious Plates,” meaning a lot of cottage cheese, no breads, leaner or plain proteins. But if you really want non-artery-clogging-or-high-blood-pressure-causing food, just go somewhere else that’s NOT a deli.

Pros: Brent’s is your classic big, loud suburban twentieth century American deli with all its beautiful controlled chaos. This deep Valley deli offers all the comforts of the home-away-from-home hamisheh restaurants we know and love: a mirrored spinning cake case, Naugahyde booths, a lot of dark wood surfaces (many not made from actual trees) and other shades of brown/beige, and a busy cashier by the entrance. Ah, the early thrill of being given the responsibility of paying the family check! Such an important rite of passage for Jewish children. Plus there are custom-printed covered plastic cups for kids. (The Stovepiper next door looks amazing, too.)

Cons: Even on a late Saturday afternoon we had to wait about 20 minutes. But such is deli life. Many of my earliest memories are waiting for tables at delis. (And feeling mortified when I held a stranger’s hand at Junior’s…but that’s another story.)

Note Joya Cherry Marshmallow Twists are in the cake case — available not just for Pasover!

Changing Station: Yes

High Chairs: Yes

Parking and Access: Surface mini-mall parking lot.

Other Tidbits: If it weren’t for family friends in Northridge, the 91324 ZIP code would be complete terra incognita. So recently we had to right a wrong and finally try the highly praised Brent’s Deli. Deli crusader David Sax himself mentioned Brent’s — and its kishka in particular — as being among the city’s best when I interviewed him last year. (We saved that dish for another visit.) Our big corner table filled up with the bomb ass overflowing matzo ball soup with carrots and noodles, pastrami sandwich, kosher and half-sour pickles, fries, Dr. Brown’s, crusty rye bread, etc. Even if we don’t go to delis as often as I did as a kid, Taster Tots will be covering many more delis, since they’re a perennially family-friendly favorite restaurant genre.

“Is that fish broken?”


19565 Parthenia Street, Northridge
(818) 886-5679
Cuisine: Deli
Price: $$
Hours: Daily 6 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Cicely October 19, 2010 at 1:14 pm

Brent’s is always cited on Chowhound as the discussion-ending best place for matzo ball soup, pastrami, and I think smoked whitefish. True?


Jessica October 19, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Someone says Brent’s better than Langer’s for pastrami? No they DIDN’T! Sax told me most delis get their meat from the same distributor anyway, so it’s how the delis treat it that distinguishes each. Brent’s doesn’t hand slice or steam in the same way; it’s sweet n’ tangy and super tender but no Langer’s. MB soup good clean broth, slightly under salted but better than the alternative, since I wound up feeling parched afterward anyway. I loved (as did Isaac!) the light and fluffy dumpling itself, but noodles are too thick. Didn’t have whitefish. We’ll add this place to the agenda for your next visit. :)


Cicely October 20, 2010 at 11:29 am

There is ALWAYS someone who will counter someone else’s opinion on Chowhound! Fwiw, my friend Daveena notes that Langer’s pastrami doesn’t have the spicy smokiness that she craves. I fall for it for the ultra tender texture that makes me even want to devour the semi melted fat (stringy fat totally turns me off most pastrami).


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: